The Washington Redskins are in solid shape at wide receiver from a short-term perspective. The future at the position is a bit murky, however.
Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson are in the final year of their contracts, and they’ll both turn 30 this year. They were productive last season when they were on the field, but the Redskins could try and find a young outside wide receiver in this draft, given the uncertainty beyond 2016.
The Redskins currently have seven wide receivers on the roster, but they only have one long-term piece in Jamison Crowder, who was selected in the fourth round last year. The 22-year-old solidified the team’s slot receiver spot as a rookie, finishing with 59 catches (a team rookie record) for 604 yards and two touchdowns. It appears at this point that Crowder was a solid pick, but Washington has room for another young wide receiver.
This class isn’t as talented at the position as it has been the past two years. There isn’t a guy like Amari Cooper, who went fourth overall to the Oakland Raiders and was clearly the best wide receiver in the draft. Instead, there are a few names thrown around as the best wide receiver in this class, such as Laquon Treadwell, Josh Doctson, Corey Coleman and Will Fuller. Many, if not all, of these players should be available when the Redskins are on the clock with the 21st overall selection, but they shouldn’t seek a wide receiver in the first round.
There will be some tempting prospects available during Day 2 as well, like Tyler Boyd, Michael Thomas and Braxton Miller, but the Redskins should hold off until the final day of the draft. There’s some value once again on Day 3, as the Redskins found out last year with Crowder. Since they didn’t have a wide receiver taller than six feet last year, the Redskins should look for an outside threat with size. They’ll have a few options, with five picks currently on Day 3.
Clemson’s Charone Peake was one of the top players in the country coming out of high school, but he didn’t live up to his potential because of knee injuries during his junior and redshirt junior seasons. The 6-2, 209-pound wide receiver had his most productive season last year, with 50 catches for 716 yards and five touchdowns.
Jordan Payton has been viewed by some as an under-the-radar prospect out of UCLA. He had 1,105 yards on 78 receptions during his senior season. He’s been viewed as a possession receiver at 6-1, 207. Payton dropped just six of 154 catchable passes during his final two seasons with the Bruins, per Pro Football Focus.
Tajae Sharpe was basically an unknown prospect out of Massachusetts up until the East-West Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl. He performed well at both events displaying his good hands and footwork. Listed at 6-2, 194 pounds, Sharpe recorded 196 receptions for 2,600 yards in his final two seasons.
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